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27/07/2021

Bloody Sunday family welcome High Court ruling to halt withdrawal of prosecution of Soldier F

Criminal proceedings against former British soldier had been due to take place at Derry Magistrates Court tomorrow

Sister of James Wray challenging Soldier F anonymity order at High Court

Soldier F is accused of the murder of James Wray, left, and William McKinney on Bloody Sunday.

The brother of one of those shot dead on Bloody Sunday has welcomed a High Court decision to halt the stopping of the prosecution of the former British soldier facing murder charges in connection with the killings..

Last week, the Department for Public Prosecution (PPS) announced it would not be proceeding with the prosecution of Soldier F, who is charged with murdering two of the victims in January 1972, William McKinney and James Wray. He is also facing five charges of attempted murder.

Criminal proceedings against the former soldier were due to be discontinued at Derry Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

The PPS also announced Soldier B, who was facing a murder charge in connection with the shooting dead of 15-years-old Daniel Hegarty in the Creggan area of the city later that year, would also not be prosecution.

Michael McKinney, brother of William, had challenged the decision to halt the prosecution in the High Court, his lawyers seeking an interim order to stop the ex-paratrooper from being discharged.

Speaking after the order was granted today, Mr McKinney described the ruling as 'a victory.'

He said: :”Our family are delighted at this intervention.

“The PPS should not have contemplated discharging Soldier F in circumstances where the High Court is already actively considering the decision making surrounding decisions not to prosecute F for his involvement in two further murders.

“The position it adopted was a source of great distress to our family.

“This represents a victory today for us, Jim Wray’s family and those wounded by Soldier Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, solicitor for the McKinney family, said: the case would now be considered over the course of a five-day hearing before a Divisional Court in September.

He added: “That case will examine a decision not to prosecute another soldier for the murder of William McKinney, Jim Wray and the attempted murder of four others, and other decisions which we contend are flawed which have, to date, resulted in other identifiable paratroopers escaping justice.”

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